1.13.2014

And I Quote: "I Wish I Can Have Your Black Skin"

Hip-hop is still cool at a party. But to me, hip-hop has never been strictly a party; it is also there to elevate consciousness~ Saul Williams
I went to the city of Daejeon back in December and my friend took me to a "HipHop" club in the downtown area. Here is the poster that hung on the doors and on the walls.
No problem there, right? Well, the music was awesome. The DJ played every kind of HipHop known to man. I was having an epic time and really enjoying the music when I noticed that all the Koreans in the place...were dressed in all black. No harm there, right? No, but they were dressed in the HipHop style of the early 90s. The winter caps sitting atop their heads, the backwards hats, the lumber jack shirt that was only buttoned at the neck...I felt like I had stepped back into a combination of a Naughty by Nature, 2Pac, Kid N'Play, Kris Kross, Missy Elliot video. As the night carried on one of the bartenders, a female who is also taking lessons with the club's owner to be a DJ, came up to my friend and I who were the other two black people there and said 
"Oh my God, I love your black skin, I wish I can have your black skin".
 Me, not being one to laugh something off and keep going (although I was absolutely tickled), I asked her why. And she responded
"Blacks are so kind and fun. They can dance and they so cool".
Indeed we are an amazing group of people. However, what I was really hearing from her was "I want to be down with all the cool stuff associated with blackness, but not really blackness." Because as soon as they stepped out of that club, they were Korean again (Not going to knock their 'struggle', which was and still is real). What they failed to realize was this: The idea of blackness is cool, however, the reality of Black life can sometimes be cruel and not easy to swallow. Especially the realities that many of those HipHop/Rappers spoke about in their music. I saw this in Europe too. In that club, you could tell that "Smokin' and drankin'", wearing certain types of clothes, moving your arm up and down to a "dope beat" was being Black for them. It was a party. Every time my friend and I took to the dance floor, we became the center of attention. And the Korean girls and guys would begin imitating us and buying us more drinks. We were just dancing...like Fly Girls...it was the music and the occasional drink.

Everyone is in love with the idea of being Black, but God forbid if they ever had to be Black.

Until next time good people.

4 comments:

  1. Yep..if they only knew true Black culture.

    I'm always amazed of how Black culture is so quickly associated with hip hop. When I was growing up there was no hip hop music .By the late seventies ,rap music just started to come to the surface (actually earlier than that) but it still wasn't called hip hop . I just look at my community from the past. I don't recall my grandfather, brother or uncles wearing slack booty jeans,rap slang and a turned back cap. It would have....and still is disrespectful to come in their homes dressed that way.

    Man, if they knew real Black culture. I think that the Korean clubbers that you're discussing on here.. like so many others confuse Black culture with Black musical genres and personal lifestyles. As proud as I am to be a Black American woman ,like you said being Black is not only beautiful but it is very difficult to one in this racist world. Even though Koreans are can be victimized by racism, its hard to be Black. Like you said they love the entertainment side of us but not our reality.

    They must separate musical genres from culture. They're celebrating music, but not culture. Black culture isn't one-size-fits-.Were diverse. I'm a Black American woman from Georgia, but I can go to New York or California and the Black people in those region may think/ do things differently than how I do in my state.Same goes for other Blacks from other countries. Our cultures may be different from mines though were all Black.

    I'm considering taking a family trip to Savannah ,Ga and Charleston, South Carolina .I thought about further educating my nephs about these place because they're loaded with Black culture. I particularly wanted to learn more about the Gullah people and eat the food. In the past I would take them to the AUC center, the Wrens nest ,MLK house....anything that has Black history in it. I would also show them the Black ghettos and the Black upper middle class/rich communities and teach them about the Black people who contributed a lot to this world.

    There so much more in the Black community and diaspora than what they think is but they only swallow what they see on TV and other media outlets are not going to give out the truth about Black people. I've read where up to 10 years ago ,Korean students we're being taught about Black people looking like apes.. seriously. I've learned something else about the world , you'll learn more about European culture but when it comes to Black culture not so much. If they learned about actual Black, they would understand the beauty, histories and struggles of who we truly and how were so much more than a supposed hip hop culture.

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    1. I like that you will expose your family to Black culture. But another thing I realized was even whem I was in Africa...there was a similar reaction like Koreans to hiphop. There is a Black American culture that is being globally misconstrued. Black Americans are so diverse as you point out .

      I get the occasional "let's fist bump" because I'm black in Korea. Or they put on their best slang to "identify" with me. Its funny when they realize they don't have to do all that because that's not the black person I am. And they are incredibly surprised when I am not the TV/Music Video black person. Haha...

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    2. Teaching your kids (in my case nephews) about who they are is very important to me because I wouldn't want to think that being Black is a bad and they should know the truth into who they are. I grew up in a mostly White/Jewish neighborhood and this was one of the very things my parents and grandparents did with my siblings with me and I'm glad that they did because if they wouldn't have done it, we probably would get the wrong impression...just like those Korean clubbers... of Black culture.

      Too many people already tell people about us and they always will give others unflattering picture of who we. I'm going to make sure the lies will stop with them.

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  2. The white run media has been marketing "Black cool" for decades. This idea that every African American can sing/dance/slum dunk. Notice the way black athletes and entertainers are discussed compared to their white peers. The white athlete is always hard working, a natural leader. Black athletes are assumed to be that way by birth not because they gave up their youth to spend hours a day practicing and memorizing. Same with entertainers. They think Beyonce is a great entertainer because she is black/born that way. Not because she spent years rehearsing, jogging while singing, building her network of producers and musicians to collaborate with.

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